UFC: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie to Headline October 17 Event

UFC Denver Korean Zombie Yair Rodriguez UFC Greenville Chan Sung Jung
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

A fight between top featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung will reportedly headline the UFC event on October 17.

Per Brett Okamoto of ESPN (first reported by Milenio), the long-awaited bout between top featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung is set to take place on October 17 at a location yet to be announced.  The two were previously scheduled to meet last December before Ortega was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a knee injury.

Brian “T-City” Ortega became one of the breakout stars of the MMA world in 2018 as he rode stoppage victories over Clay Guida, Cub Swanson, and Frankie Edgar en route to a title shot against then-featherweight kingpin Max Holloway.  Holloway would go on to defend the belt and remove Ortega from the ranks of the unbeaten, but the California native’s popularity remained high.  After recovering from injuries and making changes within his team, Ortega was set to return in December against Jung before a knee injury removed him from the bout just weeks out from the fight.

Chan Sung Jung is looking to lock in his own shot at the title at a time when the featherweight division is experiencing turnover with a new champion.  Since returning from mandatory military service in his home country in 2017, “The Korean Zombie” has gone 3-1 with stoppages over Dennis Bermudez, Renato Moicano, and Frankie Edgar.  His only loss in that span came against Yair Rodriguez in a fight Jung had largely been winning until Rodriguez landed an elbow to score a knockout in the final second of the bout.

An added element to this fight is that the previously cordial opponents have developed a high level of animosity.  The situation reached a breaking point this past March when the two attended UFC 248 and Ortega assaulted Jung’s friend and translator, Korean rapper Jay Park, while Jung had stepped away to the bathroom.  Ortega had accused Park of talking trash on behalf of Jung on social media after he had withdrawn from their bout and reportedly slapped Park in the altercation.

No location for the bout has been announced but it is expected to be held at either the UFC Apex in Las Vegas or on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.  The bout carries major title implications in the featherweight division as the winner is expected to be considered for the next shot at current champion Alexander Volkanovski along with Zabit Magomedsharipov and Max Holloway.